Lets be real, most black folks rather watch their lives go up in flames before they even give second thought to seeing a therapist, and with that thinking, it usually does.
Well, in order to go to therapy you’d first have to admit something is wrong. Admitting something is wrong breaks that ‘strong black man/woman image. The notion of being strong dates back to slavery, if they could make it with no therapy then so can you. Well guess what? You’re not them, things are different, you may not be as strong as them or you’d like to think you are. Your ancestors didn’t have the option for help, today’s society does.
There is a large distrust of the mental health community, particularly psychiatrists, who have histories of over-medicating and hyper-diagnosing young children for typical acting out behaviors. There is also a deep seated belief that going to see a counselor, who in most cases is white, will mean that the counselor will not be able to empathize or understand black people’s experiences. OK clearly the people who can relate to you, that you’ve tried talking to couldn’t help so, why not try someone new? And you don’t know those people or what they’ve been through that could help you, get over yourself & the fear of the unknown.
Black people go to church! The head of the church was long the trusted person in the community, I’m not saying this is wrong but now days the pastor is the crooked one. You bare your all and you still have a life that’s crumbling. So whats to lose going to a therapist if church didn’t help. “I know a family that prays together…” Therapy may look bad because it shows a family can’t fix its own problems. Now this I really don’t get, you’ll let your whole family fall apart so long as it looks good?! That’s a big problem black people have, wanting to look good, despite the truth of actually doing good.
In the past it was seen as psychiatrist were solely for those with mental illness, and for whatever reason black people swear they are immune to being crazy, yeah… okay… we’ll go with that. Therapy can also be about helping someone to establish goals, transition to a new career, seeking a life-coach, seeking pre-marital counseling, financial planning, etc. The unfamiliar doesn’t have to remain that way. We must always be open to learning something new. Therapy doesn’t mean you’re not in control, it actually helps gain control, sometimes an unbiased opinion with some truth is just what you need. You cant make a decision on something you’ve never actually tried, seen, felt or experienced for yourself. The main problem is just ignorance, black people- seek some therapy, some of you- many of you need it.